Quality outcomes are enhanced when a child's family participates in the process. Families after all are the world experts on their child - they can provide invaluable feedback on your insights and plans, and they can be a true partner by continuing the learning at home.
Family engagement is also a priority for most reporting bodies and agencies - it's a must have. And there is not way to build this collaboration than on Educa.
We have guides, one pagers, videos, posters and consent documents you can send families - find them here.
Tracking Engagement by Families
There are three reports of interest in the Reports section:
Parent Engagement Activity - visits and comments over any period. Educa's site average is 20 visits per parent per month.
Parent Visit Report - family members by name and their visits. This report can be helpful to spot lack of engagement also, families who are not visiting Educa
Stories and Comments - read comments on stories. Are your site's stories starting meaningful conversations and input?
It all starts with a good setup.
Each child has a profile photo
Teachers have profile photos - it makes Educa more friendly
Encourage family members to add a photo
Make sure each child has at least one family member at least. Educa helps you manage multiple family invites in one click - more on mass inviting families here
Family members should all download the Educa Touch family app. The app is trimmed down version of Educa that is easier for families to read your stories and message and to comment. With the Family app they will receive a push notification every time you share a story. These push notifications encourage interaction. Download iOS Apple app here, and Android family app here.
Add a story early on for new children so that parents right away get how your process is going to work. This could be a group story.
Encourage parents to invite other family members - creating a community around each child.
Engaging Families Day to Day
Far and away your most valuable engagement tool is well written Learning Story that:
Is written to the child
Has an easy to read and fun writing style, and is written with heart
Ends with a question for families, an invitation to feedback, contribute to their child's education
Educa supports Parent Stories - where families can become more invested in your process and contribute to their child's portfolio. Here is an article you could send to families on creating parent stories and getting more involved.
Other Ideas to Engage Families
Educa is a sharing platform with countless ways to bring families inside the tent, giving them visibility into their child's education. Most families are willing to help, it's just a matter of finding the right approach.
Here are some ideas to help make visiting their child's Educa profile a routine.
Encourage teachers to send small videos. A video of a child involved in learning, with ideas and questions about extending the learning, etc. A parent will ALWAYS watch a video of THEIR child.
Create irresistible content, such as posting (selfie?) video messages from staff or teachers on the Message Board regularly.
Post a weekly diary of goings on at your center on the Message Board, or encourage teachers to post a "day journal" group story on class goings on. Educa allows you to grant permission to a family volunteer to do message board posts or you could authorise a teacher.
On a parent night, showcase Educa and why you want to build a collaboration with each and every family.
Segment families into Groups in Educa so you can communicate and engage in a more targeted way, e.g., by child interest, days of the week.